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Thread: Veganism is NOT a diet

  1. #101
    Draíochta Blueberries's Avatar
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    Quote davejones View Post
    To many people, veganism is just a diet. Your beliefs may be different, but I think it's wrong to impose them on other people. We're all individuals, and all unique. You don't "own" veganism, so have no right to judge what others believe it to be for them. Your beliefs are very valid, but so are those who think differently. Over the years I've noticed that the one thing that puts off many potential vegans is that they think they have to conform to some standard that doesn't suit them. The start being vegan, but then get attacked for not doing it for the right reasons or whatever. We should welcome those who are striving to become vegan, as they likely will stick to it if they are encouraged. They will go back to being non-vegan if they are preached at that their veganism is wrong.
    This has already been discussed but in summary:

    We have nothing against people adopting dietary veganism, it is great. But veganism is a lifestyle choice that excludes all exploitation and use of animals as far as is practical. So what you eat is part of veganism but so is what you wear and the toiletries you use. Dietary veganism does not encompass the full meaning of veganism. You say that we don't own the word 'vegan' but it describes our lifestyle, not someone elses diet. Using it this way takes it away from those who follow its full and proper definition.
    Houmous atá ann!

  2. #102
    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Veganism is NOT a diet

    I agree about not putting off potential vegans, but changing the definition of veganism will only cause confusion. Here's an interview with the chap who, with his wife, coined the term, not that long ago really http://vegnews.com/articles/page.do?pageId=2475&catId=1

  3. #103
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    Default Re: Veganism is NOT a diet

    The question is, how would you encourage people to embrace the full meaning of veganism without scaring them off? It really is a very complex lifestyle change. And it's certainly not easy to do.

    After two months, I'm more settled into being Vegan now. But, you know, I haven't even tried going out to eat yet.

  4. #104

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    Default Re: Veganism is NOT a diet

    Quote Blueberries View Post
    This has already been discussed but in summary:

    We have nothing against people adopting dietary veganism, it is great. But veganism is a lifestyle choice that excludes all exploitation and use of animals as far as is practical. So what you eat is part of veganism but so is what you wear and the toiletries you use. Dietary veganism does not encompass the full meaning of veganism. You say that we don't own the word 'vegan' but it describes our lifestyle, not someone elses diet. Using it this way takes it away from those who follow its full and proper definition.
    I agree with you, and looking back at my post I didn't explain myself properly. I suppose what I mean is that being fully vegan involves following a vegan diet, not wearing leather, etc. But lots of people are new to this, and if they claim to be vegan (because they follow a vegan diet), it's better to congratulate them than point out that they aren't really vegan because they still wear leather (or whatever). Maybe diet is as far as they want to go. If that is the case I still think it's better to accept them than to make them feel uncomfortable. These people will most likely be getting lost of stick from meat-eater friends, so the last things they need is to be getting it from perfect vegans as well. They'll fell like they don't fit in anywhere, and will probably go back to meat-eating just for an easier life. So I do agree with you, but I don't think there's any point getting too upset by those that think a little differently.

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    Quote Tabbycat View Post
    The question is, how would you encourage people to embrace the full meaning of veganism without scaring them off? It really is a very complex lifestyle change. And it's certainly not easy to do.

    After two months, I'm more settled into being Vegan now. But, you know, I haven't even tried going out to eat yet.
    I think the way to encourage them is to say 'well done' for each step they take. You won't encourage them if you say... "well I know you eat vegan food, but don't go thinking you're a vegan because I saw you wearing leather shoes'. Also, many people just don't want to go the whole way. Maybe half way is enough for them. I'd rather everyone became 50% vegan than stayed 0% because they get too much stick for being 50%.

  5. #105
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    Quote Tabbycat View Post
    The question is, how would you encourage people to embrace the full meaning of veganism without scaring them off? It really is a very complex lifestyle change. And it's certainly not easy to do.
    Quote davejones View Post
    ... it's better to congratulate them than point out that they aren't really vegan because they still wear leather (or whatever). Maybe diet is as far as they want to go. If that is the case I still think it's better to accept them than to make them feel uncomfortable. These people will most likely be getting lost of stick from meat-eater friends, so the last things they need is to be getting it from perfect vegans as well.
    I guess everybody does it differently. As soon as I read into veganism and realised that it was possible for me to do I jumped head-first into it. I found it an exciting and liberating change. Yeah there were a few hassles and bumps in the road along the way but I didn't need to be eased or coaxed in by being told that I only needed to change my diet and I could worry about 'the rest' later. To me leather=meat=milk, 'the rest' is just as important.
    Houmous atá ann!

  6. #106
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    Default Re: Veganism is NOT a diet

    I did it fairly gradually but I'm sure was aware of the definition of veganism and didn't believe that I was vegan at the time when I was focusing on cutting animal products out of my diet (I had already stopped buying leather before that I think but may not have stopped buying wool etc until later...all a bit hazy now).

    Anyway, I certainly agree that it's good to be gentle with people who don't understand the definition of veganism and encourage them to keep doing whatever they are doing, but that's not incompatible with politely explaining what the definition is. I certainly wouldn't want to give anyone the idea that it's a matter of opinion because, apart from anything else, the existence of honey-eating (or even, apparently, fish-eating!) eating self-styled "vegans" has caused some of us problems.

  7. #107
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    Default Re: Veganism is NOT a diet

    It's strange, I think even though I had a very poor pre-conceived notion of what veganism actually was about, I now think I was always going to end up as a vegan at some point. I had already cut out animal tested products as far as I was aware (I didn't know about how rife it was but had cut out everything from Proctor and Gamble about 15 years ago)... Never used fur, was an advocate for non-animal based medical research, tried to help any animal related cause, etc... But I was completely ignorant of the food issues (I really did think we needed it)...

    Once I found out about one side of it though (the dairy in particular, not just the meat), I suddenly came to realise that ALL of the aspects of veganism had their individual, valid reasons, so decided to become wholly vegan right away, even though I still didn't fully understand the problem with eggs/beeswax/honey/wool yet... I just realised there MUST be good intelligent thought and consideration behind it, so just made the leap of faith. I did, for a brief time still think lanolin wasn't that bad, but when proved wrong I was accepting instead of being defensive and judgemental as I had been previously. Being vegan was more important than having my grey hairs blended away with my favourite hair dye at the time.

    I am truly proud now, to say that I'm vegan, rather than just eating a vegan diet, because by definition, eating a vegan diet often is more about oneself, while veganism means caring about others. Maybe that's because at the start (before you find all the loveliness that is available in the vegan world) you have to be willing to inconvenience yourself for the sake of what's right. It's nice to look in the mirror and see that my vanity is no longer the priority, and it seems to foster a better opinion of oneself, both spiritually, but also physically (because you're more likely to be looking at your natural self - at least initially while you look for vegan stuff to doll yourself up with!)... LOL...

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    Right now, gotta go to bed, otherwise I'll look like a monster tomorrow with eye-bags from hell, and that's no way to advertise veganism is it?
    Last edited by Peabrain; Apr 30th, 2013 at 04:35 PM.

  8. #108
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    Default Re: Veganism is NOT a diet

    from another forum i occasionally frequent.... not specifically a vegan forum, just a group on there

    "i sometimes eat a carton of egg whites during the week, or if i go out where there is food offered will eat the veggie option, so have some milk or cream or cheese sometimes, but if i'm at a party i'll maybe have a bite of fish or meat, so i'm probably 95-98% vegan"

    so.... not a vegan at all then, or even a veggie..... I just 100% despair sometimes!
    "when the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace" Jimi Hendrix

  9. #109
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    Default Re: Veganism is NOT a diet

    Quote tickled onion View Post
    "i sometimes eat a carton of egg whites during the week, or if i go out where there is food offered will eat the veggie option, so have some milk or cream or cheese sometimes, but if i'm at a party i'll maybe have a bite of fish or meat, so i'm probably 95-98% vegan"

  10. #110
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    Default Re: Veganism is NOT a diet

    I worked with someone who declared herself vegan after I said I was, then went on to say she had beef the other night, roast chicken at the weekend, etc etc.
    Guess her vegan is slightly different to mine.

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    Quote micthemini View Post
    I worked with someone who declared herself vegan after I said I was, then went on to say she had beef the other night, roast chicken at the weekend, etc etc.
    Guess her vegan is slightly different to mine.
    Haha, did you point out the blatant hypocrasy!
    Houmous atá ann!

  12. #112
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    Default Re: Veganism is NOT a diet

    I just think there are a lot of people out there who don't know what vegan is. After all, vegans only represent a very small percentage of the population as a whole.

    About the only thing you can do is educate people who don't understand what vegan actually is.

  13. #113
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    Quote Tabbycat View Post
    I just think there are a lot of people out there who don't know what vegan is. After all, vegans only represent a very small percentage of the population as a whole.

    About the only thing you can do is educate people who don't understand what vegan actually is.
    I'm always tempted to carry around a card or a leaflet with an explanation of 'vegan' on it to show people... maybe I should do one up.
    Houmous atá ann!

  14. #114

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    Default Re: Veganism is NOT a diet

    There is a guy that lives in my town that everyone knows as vegan. He works at a vegan/vegetarian restaurant as a chef, he put half of the vegan dishes on the menu even. He has been vegan for years. He even showers rarely to save water for the fishes :P yet the other day he told me that if someone was going to throw away food he would eat it to not waste it. He said he would never eat tossed meat but he would eat a cheese pizza, etc. Personally I think that this goes against veganism and it is a slippery slope in which he will soon be saying "well they offered me a bite and I'm hungry." What do you all think?

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    Default Re: Veganism is NOT a diet

    Quote VeganEsthie View Post
    There is a guy that lives in my town that everyone knows as vegan. He works at a vegan/vegetarian restaurant as a chef, he put half of the vegan dishes on the menu even. He has been vegan for years. He even showers rarely to save water for the fishes :P yet the other day he told me that if someone was going to throw away food he would eat it to not waste it. He said he would never eat tossed meat but he would eat a cheese pizza, etc. Personally I think that this goes against veganism and it is a slippery slope in which he will soon be saying "well they offered me a bite and I'm hungry." What do you all think?
    Reminds me a bit of what I read about Buddhism, but I could be wrong since I read it online. But basically it was like...they're veggie but because they're monks they can't turned food down or something, even if it's meat. But only if it's offered by someone to them and they never buy it. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

  16. #116
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    Quote VeganEsthie View Post
    ...the other day he told me that if someone was going to throw away food he would eat it to not waste it. He said he would never eat tossed meat but he would eat a cheese pizza, etc. Personally I think that this goes against veganism and it is a slippery slope in which he will soon be saying "well they offered me a bite and I'm hungry." What do you all think?
    He's a 'freegan' essentially:
    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freeganism

    I understand the mentality behind it but wouldn't eat non-vegan food just becuase it was going to waste (I'm sure plenty of vegan food goes to waste too).
    Houmous atá ann!

  17. #117
    Bad Buddhist Clueless Git's Avatar
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    Default Re: Veganism is NOT a diet

    Quote Cacique View Post
    Reminds me a bit of what I read about Buddhism, but I could be wrong since I read it online. But basically it was like...they're veggie but because they're monks they can't turned food down or something, even if it's meat. But only if it's offered by someone to them and they never buy it. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.
    It's highly selective reading from buddhism Cacique. This is all I have understood from what I have read ..

    Originaly the monks were forbidden to accept meat as alms food. The monks reported to the buddha that refusal to accept alms food with meat in it had two effects: 1. It offended people who simply gave in good spirit to the monks the food they had for themselves. 2. It allowed people to feign offence on refusal and use that as an excuse to kick seven bells out of the monks.

    Buddha then ruled that alms meat should not be refused if 3 conditions existed; 1. That the animal was not known/believed/supected to have been killed on behalf/in 'honour' of the monks and that the monks had neither 2. Seen nor 3. Heard the animal being killed.

    Sutas are littered with references that make it clear that accepting meat was a suffering the monks had to endure in order to keep peace and good will and was NOT a treat.

    Latterly the buddha revoked the exceptions that allowed monks to accept meat as alms food and spelt out his reasonings in abundantly clear and totaly unambiguous terms. That is covered in detail in the The Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra.

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    Quote micthemini View Post
    I worked with someone who declared herself vegan after I said I was, then went on to say she had beef the other night, roast chicken at the weekend, etc etc.
    Guess her vegan is slightly different to mine.
    Have you tried asking her if she has an opinion on whether or not smokers should be allowed to declare themselves as non smokers in between cigarettes?
    All done in the best possible taste ...

  18. #118
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    Default Re: Veganism is NOT a diet

    Thank you very much Cupid Stunt. That all makes much sense now with your explanation, as I couldn't quite understand it when I first read it.

  19. #119
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    Default Re: Veganism is NOT a diet

    That's interesting about revoking the exceptions, I hadn't heard that. So do non-vegetarian Buddhists not believe that bit?

  20. #120
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    Default Re: Veganism is NOT a diet

    My experience of Buddhism is, it's not just one religion. There are many different forms of Buddhism, all influenced by the cultures that have taken it on. It would be like saying all Christians follow the same rules.

    That being said, the particular branch of Zen Buddhism that influenced me to go vegan is Thich Nhat Hanh's.

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